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By 21 October 2020 | Categories: news

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Vodacom Group announced today that it is partnering with AFI under the global network’s public-private dialogue (PPD) platform to advance financial inclusion in Africa through systematic knowledge sharing with financial policymakers and regulators.

The initial partnership with Vodacom, which runs until October 2021, will enhance select AFI member services and platforms with private sector insights into mobile finance from one of the region’s largest players in mobile communications.

“AFI members in Africa are among the world’s pioneers in mobile money services, having fostered decades of ground-breaking innovations that have shaped the financial inclusion landscape across the continent and beyond,” commented Dr. Alfred Hannig, AFI Executive Director.

Regulators in the region have turned the current pandemic into opportunities to accelerate financial inclusion and ensure that no one is left behind.

“As the region’s economies emerge from the impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic, improving quality and usage of digital financial services, especially for women, youth, micro and small businesses and other vulnerable groups will be integral. Open dialogue among policymakers, regulators and the private sector is an important component of these efforts,” Dr. Hannig highlighted.

Vodacom’s engagement with AFI will enrich the network through:

•            Technical knowledge contributions to AFI’s PPD webinars, particularly where the focus is on financial inclusion policy implications in Africa

•            High-level discourse among leaders of AFI members and partner institutions in the Africa Regional Policy Initiative (AfPI)

•            Capacity building for regulators

•            Private sector insights toward relevant AFI knowledge products

•            AFI’s COVID-19 Policy Response Initiative

•            AFI’s regional and global events and activities

“Financial and digital inclusion for all underscores Vodacom’s commitment to the communities in which we operate,” added Nkateko Nyoka, Chief Legal and Regulatory Officer at Vodacom. “Through existing platforms like M-Pesa we connect 42 million customers across Africa to facilitate safe and secure mobile payments and our VodaLend offering as part of Vodacom Financial Services is specifically designed to assist small to medium sized businesses with access to funding. This is why partnering with AFI maps to Vodacom’s existing purpose and allows us to accelerate this work across the continent with access to their extensive African network. We also believe strongly in the power of partnerships and what the pandemic has taught us is that collaboration and partnerships are crucial to help address problems and challenges as effectively as possible. It is the only way we will truly be able to move past the challenges of today and build the future of tomorrow.”

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, AfPI members have been implementing a wide range of interventions to build resilience and enable a sustainable recovery, including measures to ease mobile money transactions by lowering transaction costs and raising mobile wallet limits, helping cushion the most vulnerable households.

Roughly half of AFI’s membership comes from Africa, making it the largest region represented in the network. Enabling swift responses to members’ policy needs and emerging priorities, AFI opened its Africa Regional Office in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, in February 2019.

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